The Western North Carolina Green Building Council: It’s quite a mouthful. And, says Executive Director Sam Ruark-Eastes, it doesn’t fully capture all of the ways the 16-year-old nonprofit is working regionally to advance sustainability initiatives.
That’s why Ruark-Eastes says he’s excited to roll out his organization’s new name, Green Built Alliance, at its annual member networking and appreciation party on Thursday, Sept. 14, at Highland Brewing Co. The community is invited to join members for “good drinks, good food and good company,” adds Cari Barcas, community engagement director for the organization.
The rebranding journey, which includes a new name, logo, tagline and website, began last summer. After completing an organizational assessment and analysis with WNC Nonprofit Pathways, Barcas explains, one of the top recommendations was to make improvements to the group’s branding and marketing, especially where its name was concerned.
A grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina provided funding to hire a branding consultant so, after a bidding process, the nonprofit signed Design One of Asheville to work its magic. The new name and tagline — “Advancing sustainability in the built environment” — was shared with and voted on by the organization’s nearly 300 members, and the new logo was approved by its board of directors.
The organization’s flagship Green Built NC green building education and certification program is also getting a new name, Green Built Homes. More than 1,300 homes have been certified through the program, and an additional 100 are under construction. The latest edition of the WNC Green Building Directory will be hot off the presses and available at the membership event on Sept. 14. The annual print publication, which was first published in 2002 and includes resources and information for green building, will be available at more than 200 locations in the area and online at www.greenbuilt.org.
The organization’s Green Gauge tool helps homeowners assess their spaces with the goal of saving money, reducing energy use and living in homes that are healthy for people and the environment. And its Appalachian Offsets program allows citizens to contribute money to clean energy upgrades for community projects such as affordable housing or schools. The contributions can be scaled to offset the donor’s own carbon footprint; Green Built Alliance provides a tax-deductible donation receipt. The program is currently raising money for a solar energy system for Isaac Dickson Elementary School.
In addition to the Sept. 14 meeting, Barcas urges folks to save Saturday, Oct. 7, for CiderFest NC, the organization’s primary annual fundraising event. Held at the Salvage Station from 1-5 p.m., the cider-tasting festival often sells out. Tickets are $33 in advance ($45 the day of the event, if available) and those 20 and younger get in free. All proceeds benefit Green Built Alliance.